Close to 100 supporters cheered Doug Shipley as the new MP-elect for the Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte (BSOM) riding entered the Royal Canadian Legion hall claiming victory in Monday night’s federal election.
The BSOM election was tight for a while at the start, but with 194 of 204 polls reporting, Shipley had a 3,500-vote lead on his closest competitor, Liberal Brian Kalliecharan.
“I’m very happy at the results and that the people of Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte saw me fit to lead this riding,” said Shipley. “I’m proud of our whole team, but coming out of this election I’m proud of how we ran a clean campaign and refrained from the mud-slinging.
"That was very important to me and for the most part, all of the candidates in the riding stayed that way as well.”
Shipley was brought up on stage by the outgoing MP Alex Nuttall, who Shipley thanked for his service to the area. Shipley then brought up his wife and children, whom he credited with allowing him to take this new venture.
“They hate the spotlight, but the fact is they are the force beside me and have been as supportive as a family can be,” Shipley said.
Shipley told BarrieToday he will not get a lot of sleep tonight, but will be excited to take on the new task and will take the help from those around him who know the job.
Fellow Conservative John Brassard retained his Barrie-Innisfil seat Monday night.
“I’ll be leaning on John quite a bit,” said Shipley. “John was a great mentor to me when I joined council and was on one term before me. Now he has been on one term before me at the MP level and he’s a good friend, a good man and a good mentor.”
Shipley said he will fight hard for the people of BSOM and, while upset with the federal result, told his supporters he can only do what he can do and not worry about what isn’t in his control.
The victory leaves an empty seat on Barrie’s city council, as Shipley said he will be turning in his city hall key as soon as possible. Shipley said he was unaware how council would handle the vacancy, but told BarrieToday he will allow them to get started on their process immediately.
“I’m not exactly sure the legalities of it, but I will be resigning from my Ward 3 council position as soon as I can,” he said. “I will be visiting the city clerk's (department) tomorrow, as well as the mayor, and be addressing that with them.”
Leaving city council will still be bittersweet, said the MP-elect.
“My hopes and aspirations were not always to move on, but this came along and I’m pleased and honoured to be doing it," Shipley said. "I hope the next Ward 3 representative enjoys serving the constituents as much as I have and gives them the hard work and dedication that I did for nine years.”